01/01/2017 at 8:22 pm #9292
Happy New Year y’all! The perfect time to talk about your goals for the next twelve months. Some of our goals include super fun things like paying off
[See the full post at: Scavenger Life Episode 291: Our New Years Trash Elf Goals]
01/01/2017 at 8:32 pm #9295
Total Items in Store: 403 on etsy, 212 ebay
Items Sold: 8 on ebay, 6 on etsy
Total Sales: $670
Highest Price Sold: $200 painting on ebay
Average Price Sold: $47
01/01/2017 at 8:38 pm #9296
I have taken out several loans with Working Capitol–I am a big fan, I KNEW that you guys would pick the 30% repayment scheme, LOL, I always do the 30%.
01/03/2017 at 10:46 am #9456Eve EverettParticipant
Blech. PayPal Capitol has driven my partner crazy to the point he programmed a way to pull the money before Capital could get it. ( do NOT do this). We didn’t get in trouble but I nipped it in the bud and PayPal frowny faces this.
I would have preferred 15% or 20% but he went with 25%. I would really hate 30%. There is no pay ahead penalty, btw. I rather have the flexibility to decide whether to pay ahead.
PayPal Capital is a Horrible idea if you don’t understand it. If you choose it at their 25% rate, that means they will grab 25% of your sales every day. Let’s say you transfer the whole amount before PayPal Capital takes their share. Next day they make up for that. It can be painful to the unwary.
If you aren’t consistent with incoming sales, you will be buried and people have croaked doing loans this way. If you aren’t a professional full time seller or a consistent poster this probably is a bad idea. Of course, PayPal potentially screens out sellers From getting a loan by virtue of their sales performance over time.
I actually recommend you borrow the minimum as their is no pay ahead penalty (pretty sure). This leaves you much more liquidity.
01/03/2017 at 11:23 am #9466
Yes, if you borrow money and then close your eBay store, that would mean you’d default. That’s not a trick. That’s just business. Don’t borrow money you cant repay.
And yes, you can just pay the minimum 10% of your sales. But you are charged the maximum fee. Instead of paying $900 on $15k loan, we would have paid $2500. It’s a choice.
We like to pay off debt like our hair is on fire. No Hummers for us.
01/03/2017 at 12:05 pm #9470
You can make a payment whenever you would like with working Capital, but there really is no advantage to doing that as the loan doesn’t charge compounded interest month to month. I honestly don’t mind the 30% going out because, especially at this time of year my sales are stable, I have already paid back around a third of the current loan–certainly this sort of loan would not suit a small part time seller.
01/01/2017 at 9:28 pm #9301
Sales qty: 41
Average sale price: $24.25
Sales never fully recovered since after Christmas despite running higher percentage sales. People are either broke from spending too much on Christmas or they are drunk from NYE and can’t login to purchase my items.
In building my business spreadsheet I was pleased to learn very close to exactly how much I net after taxes per month and even per item. My average profit margin is 42% or I net 42 cents for ever dollar of sales.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Freds_Premium.
01/01/2017 at 10:14 pm #9306LizParticipant
Total Items in Store:
Items Sold: 18 (17 ebay, 1 Bonanza)
Total Sales: $428.83
Highest Price Sold: $60 (tie between a set of Duplicate Bridge boards and a set of Homeschool US history textbooks)
Average Price Sold: $23.77
With the coming postal rate changes, I decided to stop offering free shipping on everything, except a few paper ephemera items. Free shipping didn’t seem to impact sales very much.
My new experiment is to move stuff that isn’t selling from “Fixed Price” to “Auction”. It is all stuff that is decent, but low dollar (small kids toys, vintage ceramic miniatures, books). I actually have a few bids on some items, and picked up a lot of watchers on others. The hypothesis is that some buyers perceive auctions as more of a “deal” than fixed price.
01/02/2017 at 8:41 am #9351
I’d love to hear your auction experiment results over time.
We’ve found that if people don’t want the item on BIN, they don’t want it on auction either.
01/01/2017 at 10:41 pm #9308Steven SParticipant
- Location: South Dakota
Dec 25-31 2016
• Total Items in Store: 709
• Items Sold: 25 eBay
• International 2 GSP
• Total Sales $1160
• Highest Price $160 Under dash 8 track deck
• Average Price Sold: $46.40
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $78
• Cost of items purchased this week $53
Steady sales since a lull on xmas day.
Experimenting with a higher priced item searched for on eBay and making money by doing a better job of presenting it and of course asking for a lot more.
Made a $250 offer on a very nice reel to reel deck from the original owner after doing some extensive research, he countered $25 higher and I went for it. Free shipping plus accessories, a hard case and a collection of tapes. I’ve received assurance of proper packaging. With what I know about these items I’m hoping for a $600 minimum return.
01/01/2017 at 11:32 pm #9312Twisted ThrifterParticipant
I’m stumped by the saline solution thing! Interestingly enough, if you google “saline solution norway”, you’ll see that the American Health Assoc reported the US had a saline solution shortage in 2014 and Norway helped us out with production and we imported a bunch from them.
Makes that sale even weirder.
Good episode 🙂
01/01/2017 at 11:59 pm #9317Rydell RelicsParticipant
RR Store Week Dec 25-31, 2016
Total Items in Store: 1113
Items Sold: 19
Cost of Items Sold: $19.49
Total Sales: $705.84
Highest Price Sold: $229.99 (Lot of 90s Rave Flyers)
Average Price Sold: $37.15
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 42
Yes! I hit my short term goal of $700 this week; last week I was about 5 bucks shy. It was a nice mix of low and high priced items, and I’m not mad at that average price, especially since I sold a handful of items $10 and under. And some of the items from my friend’s mom’s house are starting to move, which is great because it was all free. I recently listed a Mah Jong set I got from her. Gorgeous set…butterscotch and jade green Bakelite tiles. After a bunch of research, I put a crazy price on it, $1200 Or Best Offer. I’d be happy with half that, but fingers crossed for full price.
Before I started moving a few months ago, I had completely forgotten about that box of rave flyers. Although I attended a couple, I was never a rave kid; I preferred small, moody clubs that played old funk and soul (still do). But when you came back to your car at the end of the night, it was inevitably covered in flyers. Those, plus the ones randomly handed to you on the street. So glad I kept them all these years. The buyer is a big time rave promoter in Las Vegas, but he got his start here in Los Angeles. And in a strange coincidence, he bought a hat from me a couple of years ago. Crazy.
OK, back to work and the podcast! Happy New Year, everyone!
01/02/2017 at 4:55 am #9329
Paul, That is fantastic for the rave fliers. In the 1990s I visited the record stores on Telegraph Avenue near U.C. Berkeley almost weekly. I would mainly grab the punk show fliers, but along with those I grabbed gobs of rave fliers also. I probably have about 2-3 bankers boxes full of them. If you are willing to share, how did you come up with a price for them, and about how large was the lot?
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Steve List.
01/02/2017 at 5:25 am #9342
01/02/2017 at 1:06 am #9325teh_longinatorParticipant
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Week: Dec 25 – Dec 31
Total Items In Store: 352
Items Sold: 1
Total Sales: $41.77
Highest Price: $41.77 (Lot of 2 Spice Girls Concert Dolls)
Average Price Sold: $41.77
Cost of Items Sold: $26.70
Total Profit: $15.07
Items Listed: 102
Cost of Items Purchased: $91.15
Purchased some Wii U Fight pads. Nothing huge but should be able to clear $5-10 on them. Some Disney Infinity figures from the local thrift. Brand new in box. A few more overpriced pieces of clothing. Won’t make huge money, but the sold listings lead me to believe they’ll help me enter the clothing market… and the piece-de-resistance is a video game related statue I got for $45 after tax, which is actively going for $110+.
2017 is the year I’m going to take this super serious. Not full-time by any means, but I’m gonna hope to average at least $100 a week. Still listing my $1-2 items while I clear my deathpile, which is really my number one goal. Clear the death pile of the cheap stuff, scatter some new good stuff in there, and at the end (hopefully tearing through death pile by June), just lot up what doesn’t sell.
Got some goals in place this year. Not sure how depressed I’ll be if I can’t clear them, though.
01/02/2017 at 4:59 am #9331
Twice this month I reached 700 items listed, but each time sales picked up and now I’m 12 items short of that goal. For the fun of it, I have included some numbers for the whole year of 2016.
Numbers for end of December
Total Items in Store: 688 (671 last month / 542 on Jan 1, 2016)
Items Sold: 53 (51 last month / 605 in 2016)
Total Sales: $1,603 ($933 last month / $12,092 in 2016)
Cost of Items Sold: $163 ($116 last month / $1,916 in 2016)
Highest Price Sold: 3 memory cards: $475, Avirex Jacket: $150
Average Price Sold: $30.24 ($18.13 last month / $19.98 for 2016)
International Sales: 2 GSP
Number of items listed: 49 (37 last month)
Spent on new inventory: $0 ($118 last month)
Years ago I would buy old computers for gold scrap. I would save the old core memory cards just because I thought they looked cool. I sold 3 in December, 2 at my asking price via GSP to France:
I purchased this Avirex Leather jacket at a yard sale for $20, I had it listed for $225 but accepted a best offer of $150:
A while back I went to the Coliseum Swap Meet in Oakland, CA, I only found one vendor with items I wanted, I bought the lot for $32.
I took a best offer of $100 for the Pocket Barometer, the other items are all listed.
I hope everybody had a great Christmas and New Years – and has great sales in 2017.
-Steve in Richmond, Calif.
01/02/2017 at 6:55 am #9345
Items in store: 169/82/11
Items sold: 2/1/1
Total Sales (less shipping): $43.98/$19.99/$4.99
Highest price: $34.99 Plush moose rug/$19.99 NWT Knicks Shirt/$4.99 Large Letter Gulf Coast Postcard
Avg Sales Price: $21.99/$19.99/$4.99
Net Profit: $35.21/$12.72/$4.43 – $52.36
International sales: 0
Customer Issues: NY Knicks shirt customer messaged and said shirt shows delivered, but not there, asked for replacement. I messaged back that I don’t have any more and directed them to call the post office to find out if it is just at the wrong address. We will see where this goes.
New listings: 0/0/2
Money Spent on new inventory: $4.71 (went thrifting with my mom)
Last week I had off from the day job so my time has been sucked up by doing projects on the house. Managed to get the tile work done for the fireplace hearth, tile in a half bath laid, all painting done, second floor floors sanded and ready for polyurethane (today’s project), and started to put down the underlayment for the tile in the master bath. By the time I quit for the day I am so tired I haven’t wanted to do much listing, but I need to get a few things up this week on each account to help keep things active.
I have a spouse who isn’t my eBay partner and he does have his frustrations with the whole clutter and exploding inventory parts of this, but other than that he has been supportive because it is something that I enjoy doing and there is a little bit of added cash flow into the household. He has his hobbies that I am not active in, but neither of us put these things before family needs. I feel for anyone who does this as a hobby and has a partner who just doesn’t want them to do it. My son is actually the one who comments about me spending too much time on eBay so I try my best to get him involved in the process and scavenging, but it can be difficult to keep him engaged in the process when it is just working on the computer.
01/02/2017 at 8:04 am #9346
Approximate # of Items in Store: 240
# of Items Sold: 14
Average Cost of Items Sold: $6.99
Total Sales: $686.76
Highest Price Sold: $80 Women’s Sweater
Average Price Sold: $49.05
Returns: 1 – $40.48
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $77.41
Number of items listed this week: 8
Not included in the above figures is a Leroy Neiman signed print that I bought at Savers in June for $60 and sold on Friday (through Craigslist) for $300. It’s sailing-related, so I put it up on Craigslist for a couple of runs over the summer and then planned to post it again in the spring. Had to move it out of my dining room before Thanksgiving dinner and decided I’d give it another go in December as it might make a good gift. Happy I did. No fees. Yay!
Looking forward to listening to the podcast. Congrats on the necklace!
01/02/2017 at 9:56 am #9360
Wasn’t exactly sure where to ask this question. Why don’t you just have a Facebook page? I know you started in the blogging world first. Yet you wouldn’t have to pay anything to keep it up and running. Aversion to it? Other reasons I cannot think of?
01/02/2017 at 10:18 am #9362
basically just a feed of this blog.
01/02/2017 at 12:08 pm #9392
So why couldn’t you just use FB?
01/03/2017 at 11:17 am #9463
Because we think Facebook is a place where just argue people and don’t listen to each other. It’s a place of very low information and high noise. It’s like going to a mall. Super convenient but void of any feeling.
We like to have our little place here, out of the way, hard to find, probably a little messy, but you know the people here are genuine. Hi.
01/04/2017 at 9:50 am #9537
I understand 🙂
Just my Fibro Fog Brain has a harder time following this format. Its like reading a thick book as compared to a Reader’s Digest story.
Love the podcast!
Happy New Year
01/02/2017 at 9:58 am #9361spinachetrParticipant
Dec 25-31, 2016
Total Items in Store: 13,428
Items Sold: 96
Cost of Items Sold: $12.48
Total Sales: $586.57
Highest Price Sold: $24.99 (artist signed Archie Gunn Canada Hockey Woman)
Average Price Sold: $6.11
Returns/lost in the mail: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $75 (box of 800 NJ postcards)
Number of items listed this week: 390
Total Items in Store: 44
Items Sold: 3
Cost of Items Sold: $8
Total Sales: $120.85
Highest Price Sold: $59 (crossbows/Catapults game pieces)
Average Price Sold: $40.28
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $112ish
Number of items listed this week: 45
Slowest postcard week I’ve had in months, which happens when I don’t have auctions going. Next week should be better since I got almost 400 auctions up this week.
I’ve been buying inventory at Goodwill for the 2nd store. I just happened to be in the store at the right time and checked the neckties which I never did before and came away with more than a dozen high end ties. I only recognized the Ferragamo name because of your podcast. Quickly sold the Ferragamo tie for $40 (probably could have held out for more). I had actually left some ties on the rack and came back the next day to look through them again. I had dismissed a Hermes one the day before because the name wasn’t on the label (just their logo) and then I saw the name on the small end. It needs to be cleaned, but it’s a $100 tie.
I’m not sure how long I’ll experiment with this 2nd store because I am already hating how much storage space this stuff takes up.
01/02/2017 at 10:32 am #9363
Total Items in Store: 335
Items Sold: 9
Cost of Items Sold: $7 (used) + $226 (new)
Total Sales: $508
Highest Price Sold: $240 (Anthropologie Bedding Set – paid $120 Springtime)
Average Price Sold: $56
Returns/Int’l Sales: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0! Week one of death pile challenge.
Number of items listed this week: 8 + multiples
Well it’s week one of my death piles challenge, which really should be called a pile challenge because I haven’t necessarily cherry picked. I’m starting with the bulkiest items – throw pillows, wool blankets and afghans. I’ve posted some on Facebook too. I spent some time organizing the piles and I’m kind of excited to list the art. It should be fun to rediscover items perhaps except for all of the coffee mugs.
I dumped the other Hatchimal and got my $ back and happily sold some RA bedding. Hopefully it will be a good month for bedding. It was unfortunate that I was sick and swamped in December because immediately after I started listing I started selling other items. There is definitely a correlation.
I just reviewed the IRS guidelines for hobby sales and see that you only get two years of hobby profit, then it is by default a business. This is my third year of selling so it’s time to open separate accounts. Also, I really should be making purchases on a cash back card for shipping etc. but have been too lazy. I used Easy Auctions Tracker this year and successfully loaded all of my data. The spreadsheet looks overly complicated but hopefully bookkeeping will be faster this year. So much to do, so little time!
01/02/2017 at 9:31 pm #9433TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Christine – good for you on working the death piles! I’ve got some… still untouched though I hate the thought of having to box them up for the upcoming move.
My intent is not to discourage you from ramping it up as a business but I believe that IRS guideline you refer to is used only in the context of a taxpayer desiring to report an activity as a business. If an activity shows a profit for three years then the IRS will presume it is not a hobby and not challenge a taxpayer’s reporting it as a business. The guideline is only for defensive use by the taxpayer, so to speak. The IRS won’t challenge reporting as a hobby but it will challenge reporting as a business if it thinks it’s a hobby. That’s because a business can deduct a net loss against other income and even carry forward but with a hobby any loss over hobby income is lost forever and most hobby expenses are also subject to the 2%-of-AGI floor. The IRS gets more money when it’s reported as a hobby (like I do, BTW) and happy to have it.
01/03/2017 at 10:10 am #9448
Hmm, thanks! I should have looked into this further before posting a comment, especially since I prepare our return. More of their factors lean toward hobby than business for me. There isn’t sufficient free time for me to ramp up the # of listings in a significant way, though I after I clear the death piles I hope to more to a better average sale price. I’d rather not open new accounts. I don’t have any losses or excess expenses to use so there is no real advantage there for me. I certainly want to do things correctly, but we pay an obscene amount of taxes so we’re golden.
Do you use Easy Auctions Tracker? Someone here mentioned it so I tried it this year. Haven’t done much yet but transfer the Ebay info.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by ChristineR.
01/03/2017 at 10:59 am #9460TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
I am using Easy Auctions Tracker for the first time for 2016 and I like it. I don’t use all the features but I think it will still simplify tax prep. Keeping eBay as a hobby works for me now as well for the reasons you note plus I cannot operate a business or have a business license at my present residence anyway. I haven’t run the numbers exactly but I feel that financially it’s pretty much a wash for me at under $10K a year gross, the additional costs and trouble of a business against the 2% floor disadvantage of a hobby.
01/02/2017 at 10:33 am #9364tracyParticipant
- Location: Detroit
Just getting started here 🙂
Store Week Dec 25-31, 2016
(Only) Store #1
Total Items in Store: 89
Items Sold: 2
Cost of Items Sold: 1.99
Total Sales: $54.98
Highest Price Sold: 29.99 (Hard Drive Dock)
Average Price Sold: $27.99
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $20
I am working on getting my workflows for everything together. I’m working on my pipeline just trying to figure out the Ham from the Spam.
I’m very grateful for this forum and website and podcast.Hope everyone has a very profitable 2017!
01/02/2017 at 10:40 am #9367
I was reading the Bonanza “2016 in Review, Annual Survey Online” and came across this note related to Turbo Lister:
“Offline inventory management tool. More than 10% of our eBay sellers rely on TurboLister, so we were pretty shocked to learn eBay would stop supporting it in June of 2017. We’re currently finalizing a partnership that should let us revive an improved version of this venerable tool before support for TurboLister officially ends.”
So, looks like it will live on!
01/02/2017 at 11:00 am #9373
so will it be a tool for Bonanza now?
01/02/2017 at 10:50 am #9370
url for the Bonanza article on Turbo Lister: http://www.bonanza.com/blog/main/2016_in_Review__Annual_Survey_Online
Goals for 2017
Growing my number of listed items is top on my list. I am on the brink of 2000 items listed right now (1970 items, including a hand full of scheduled items). I have an aggressive schedule of listing 200+ items per month. I have been able to stick to that in November and December of 2016. This is only possible because I have a contractor doing all the listing for me. If I can keep up the pace, I will have over 3000 listed items by the end of the year.
I have a full time job and family also, so this is going to be a challenge. But I know the goal and have a plan to get there. I’m ready for all the great things awaiting in 2017!
01/02/2017 at 11:09 am #9377
Ryanne – that’s how I read it, Turbo Lister will be an Offline inventory management tool for Bonanza. However, since you and I both have all of our ebay inventory on Bonanza, it will have the same effect of backing up all of our ebay listings.
01/02/2017 at 11:17 am #9380BGBParticipant
• Total Items in Store:228
• Items Sold: 9
• Total Sales $123.93
• Highest Price $19.99 picture frame
• Average Price Sold: $13.77
• Cost of Items Sold: $9
• Cost of items purchased this week $25
Here’s a look at how my first eight months on eBay turned out: http://imgur.com/a/4GYvX
The profit margin would have been higher in November and December, but I did some reinvesting into the business by buying a bunch of storage stuff and a label printer. My results for the year are way better than what I’d hoped for. The goal for this year is to pay down what’s left on my wife’s car, which if this year is anything like the last is an attainable goal.
Not to get too sentimental with a bunch of strangers on the internet, but I really appreciate the podcast and the community around the forum. It’s been a huge inspiration and motivation. Hopefully we all have a good year ahead of us.
01/02/2017 at 11:39 am #9385lizlangsteinerParticipant
Dec 25 – Dec 31
Total items in store 1086
Total Sales 1,419.99
Highest Price Sold 14 yards $74.99 per yard of Waverly Greenfield Village Collection Fabric
Highly desirable gorgeous print made in USA
Average price 129.00
.00 spent on new merchandise
no new listings
Haven’t been able to work my business the way I like to since Dec 16 when I totaled my vehicle on black ice. On Dec 30 I bought a preowned Honda CRV and settled with the Insurance Co. Without going into a lot of detail I will share that after my vehicle was totaled I stood on the side of the road in freezing rain calling 911. I couldn’t get through because the lines were busy from other accidents. I called my church they sent help but I ended up taking off my shoes walking in my wool socks and sometimes crawling on my hands and knees to get home. As I look back I think I must have been in shock? So because of all the trauma I haven’t been able to work my business. Yesterday I finally felt a release from all the trauma and stress. Tomorrow I fly to San Diego where I will enjoy warmer weather and my grandkids. I love the Ebay business and look forward to listening to Jay & Ryanne each week.
Because I will be traveling I wanted to go ahead and post a short video of my $1,050.00. Fabric Sale. Hope that’s ok I know Wednesday is the place for what sold videos.
01/02/2017 at 11:46 am #9387
Amazing fabric sale! I’m glad you are feeling better. It’s overcast but mild here in SoCal right now – in the 60s. -Christine
01/02/2017 at 12:50 pm #9398JoParticipant
Wow Liz! Glad you are ok, that sounds like an awful experience! I hope you will enjoy your CR-V.I have one and it is great for eBay and for travel. Like you, I have been making a lot of trips to So. Cal for family reasons.I will be heading there again at the end of January for a few weeks. Although it is a sad time for my family, I am looking forward to it as we have snow covered ice here and 15 degrees.Best wishes to you – Fair weather and following seas!
01/02/2017 at 1:21 pm #9403
Yes, glad to hear that you are starting to recover from the accident. Hopefully you will get some great rest and great time with the Grandkids then be able to get back to your store! Love the huge sale on fabric!
01/02/2017 at 6:14 pm #9419
Great sale, Liz! Thanks for sharing.
So sorry to hear about the trauma that went along with your accident. Glad that you’re feeling better. Have a great visit with your grandkids.
01/02/2017 at 9:20 pm #9432Pam in IndianapolisParticipant
Congratulations on the fabric sale, Liz. Just curious…did you find it at an estate sale or a thrift store?
01/03/2017 at 10:14 am #9450
Liz, what a horrific experience–so sorry that happened to you. I know from experience that things like that can leave you shaken for quite a while (like when our cab was t-boned in Puerto Rico as we were heading to the airport and we wound up in the E.R. Instead of flying home. Couldn’t walk for a month. Never returning to P.R.!)
I admired your fabric sales and can’t wait to learn some tips from you! Glad younare back in the game!
01/03/2017 at 2:26 pm #9480Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
Wow! Flashback! I once moved into a house in Iowa that had wallpaper all over the place that is the exact match to that fabric.
01/02/2017 at 6:16 pm #9420
Sales for month of December
Total items in store 502 Ebay (228 Amazon)
Items sold: 175 Ebay (151 Amazon)
Total Sales: $7,550.96 Ebay ($14,456.52 Amazon)
COGS: $1,764.50 Ebay ($3,012.38 Amazon
Average sale price: $43.148 Ebay ($96.38 Amazon)
As I said last moth I will do a review of the year and also say what are the plans for 2017.
Looking back at 2016:
– My wife initially had the goal to make from Ebay before taxes as much as she did at her full time job (around 24k). We beat that goal halfway thru October so we had to come up with a new goal: 40k, we beat that as well and ended up with a little over $50k before taxes.
– Q4 exceeded our expectations by a lot on Amazon. I could have sold probably double what I sold on Amqazon but kinda ran out of merchandise.
– Discovered in December that you can find a lot of good merchandise at thrift stores (up till December I did only garage sales and estate sales)
THE NOT SO GOOD:
– The return rate on Amazon is around 12%. We started to implement some changes in Q4 and we are starting to see better results.
– We spent around 3500 on shipping supplies. Looks like I have to go pick up some boxes and packing materials from Big stores to supplement some of it.
– We tracked COGS by calculating the cost of the items that sold. That complicated the way we tracked defective items that we bought. I am switching to the formula INVENTORY_VALUE_JANUARY1 + MONEY_SPENT_THROUGHOUT_THE_YEAR – INVENTORY_VALUE_DECEMBER31. This way I don’t need to track items that I throw away anymore.
LOOKING AHEAD – 2017:
1. Changed the way we track financial goal. Is very hard to predict a net income in a relative void. So assuming a 40% ROI we’ll go with daily/weekly listing goals. We’ll start with $500/day Ebay/Amazon combined listing goal. Basically if you feed the pipeline at one point you have a relative predictable stream.
2. Add thrift stores to our sourcing (that should increase our sourcing by 20-30% in my estimation)
3. Enter the clothing market (we sold a total of 17 clothes listing – mostly clothes that kids outgrew). I feel like it’s a missing opportunity for us. Time will tell how this experiment go.
4. Reduce the return % on Amazon. As I said we started to change some practices in Q4 that started to pay dividends, we’ll try to see if we can improve further.
5. Reduce the cost of shipping supplies by supplementing with free supplies from big chain stores.
6. Add bread and butter to our stores (we did a deathpile push in November and it was mostly bread and butter, and it was a good chunk of our Dec sales). Our average sale price is 55.86 on Ebay and 84.22 on Amazon for the year. That is because we had less than 3% of inventory bread and butter. After doing the death pile push in November I noticed that I can list 50-60 bread and butter in about 4 hours so we’ll revise our principles when picking merchandise to include bread and butter that can be easily listed.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by John Baston.
01/02/2017 at 6:40 pm #9424
If you use packing peanuts you should hit up local health food stores that sell supplements and vitamins. One store I go to has large garbage bags full of these that they are always wanting to get rid of. Almost all of the vitamins they received come in small to medium boxes with lots of peanuts, both the water degradable type and the styrofoam type. If I hit them up on the right day, they also give me lots of small boxes. Of course, as mentioned before on this wonderful forum, large chain stores always are restocking and have carts of empty boxes available for the asking. Also, make sure to use your eBay store coupon, I forgot 1 quarter and lost $50 in free shipping supplies.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Steve List.
01/02/2017 at 7:26 pm #9426
Thanks for the info!
01/04/2017 at 11:00 am #9538
I just did the same thing with my coupon yesterday but it was by a “fluke” which I think is not good within the system.
I got my coupon code and had it copied. I went to the Ebay Supply store and selected my items which came to $55 went to my cart for checkout, copied my coupon code and saw the total at the bottom at $5 and few cents. Great the $50 was applied. Then I thought I may like to purchase one other item so I went bak to the store to review another item but decided against it. I went back to my cart and clicked check out. Guess what, when you do that your coupon code is gone and if you don’t catch-see that it is, then when you check out you pay the full amount.
I double checked and went to PayPal and yep, only the $55 charge was there and no $50 coupon credit. So as a reminder, once you go to your shopping cart, do not use “continue shopping” or your back arrow or anything. just make sure your code is in place or re-paste it then proceed to check-out.
Now that I can’t use my coupon $50 gone on that slip up.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
01/05/2017 at 8:43 am #9589
Mike, I’d absolutely call Ebay or PayPal about that and see if someone can credit you the coupon amount.
01/05/2017 at 8:47 am #9590
Mike, I did the same thing once and they were bery helpful. I can’t remember how we fixed it, but I did get credited somehow. Do contact the supply company.
01/05/2017 at 10:16 am #9605
Thanks Terri & Linda. I will give that another try. I did this once before and called and they said couldn’t anything about it this time, but the coupon was still good and I could just go and make another order and use it then on the 2nd order. So that is what I did last time. I was low on supplies anyway so just went ahead with the second order.
But now I am in fairly good shape with supplies and don’t really need anything at the moment so would like to get the credit this time. Thanks and I will call a few people today and see what they say.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
01/07/2017 at 4:34 pm #9732
Wanted to do a follow up about the coupon that will disappear if you leave your shopping cart then come back to it. The Ebay rep said that is how it is working, but they have had some complaints just like mine. She said that the problem has been moved upwards in their que for the technical team to address and see if they can get it fixed.
They are aware of the problem which is this: If you put items in your shopping cart, then think you are ready to check out. you go to your cart and paste in your coupon code and review your order.. BUT [this is the flaw], you decide to click out of your cart for a minute to go check another item or to continue shopping becauswe you may want to add one more item to your order, when you pull out and come back to your cart, your coupon has disappered from the “Apply Coupon-Enter Coupon Code Here” box. If you don’t notice it and proceed to checkout, then your coupon is not applied to that order. She did say that your coupon is still good for another order but couldn’t be retro applied to the order that was just placed.
So I said back to her, then what you are saying is to do all of your shopping before hand, put things in your cart you want to buy, then go to your cart and put your coupon code in, BUT ONCE YOU DO THAT then you need to proceed to checkout, without any continue shopping or backing out to add anything else, and that is the only way your coupon will be applied. She said YES. So be aware, shop, go to cart, apply coupon and then straight to checkout and make sure your coupon is still in place. If not she said to past it again by using “Control-V” [on a PC] while you are right there in the cart area.
I asked if they knew how long before Tech fixed it and she didn’t know. So just be aware guys.
My coupon is still good, but to redeem it I have to make a second order but still have to pay the $55 for the first order.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
01/07/2017 at 6:40 pm #9741
Mike, you can still cancel your order if it hasn’t been shipped.
01/07/2017 at 8:28 pm #9745
Thanks but too late. Order was delivered yesterday. I will just end up having a good supply of supplies 🙂 LOL. mike
01/03/2017 at 10:24 am #9453
John, your numbers are amazing. I can’t imagine what you are selling, but it is obviously all good! I do wonder how you could spend so much on shipping supplies. Be sure to put the word out to all your friends that you need boxes, etc. walk the neighborhood streets the night before trash pickup and bring home castoffs. Dumpster dive for bubble wrap.
01/03/2017 at 12:07 pm #9471
Linda I think that one of the things he has mentioned as selling is educational materials, but yeah, hard to imagine getting enough stuff to do that sort of volume.
01/03/2017 at 5:32 pm #9492
I spend so much on supplies because most of my items need a box (usually big box) and have to be packed well. I spend on average for items shipped on Ebay around $3 on materials (box, tape, bubble wrap, other materials). Plus I need a lot of materials when I pack and ship to Amazon FBA. What I send to Amazon I need to keep using stuff from U-Line. I want to use boxes from stores/craiglist/friends for stuff I sell on Ebay.
I sold close to 800 items on Ebay last year so that’s about $2400, if I can cut that in half and it’s a nice chunk of change 🙂
01/02/2017 at 9:18 pm #9431Pam in IndianapolisParticipant
Just finished the podcast and wanted to comment on the shipping coupon.
On seller hub, click on Manage Store. Under store design click on Subscriber Discounts. I know that the shipping coupon is available because it will say “NEW” in green. The ebay shipping coupon will be listed first (at least it is on mine). Click on see details and you are ready to start shopping. I don’t know if this is any easier than signing up and waiting on an email. But this is another option.
01/02/2017 at 11:07 pm #9437flimParticipant
Total Items in Store: 832
Items Sold: 28
Cost of Items Sold: $583
Total Sales: $2,103.68
Highest Price Sold: $379 (bag), $180 (bag)
Average Price Sold: $75.13
December was very good for sales, my 31 day total is over 10k which is great for me. I’d been going to sample sales for some time in the fall, so the higher end NWT items were great for listing for the holidays. Congrats on the necklace sale! I remember when you guys picked that up 🙂
Goals: TAXES AND BOOKKEEPING! I fell off the wagon and am again left with shoeboxes and piles of receipts. Yikes. Open a cash back type card to get better rewards for all the $ I’m spending.
Organization: getting more shelving to better wrangle all the stuff.
New $ streams: consign with the Real Real as well as check out Amazon -_-
Happy New Year all!
01/03/2017 at 10:26 am #9454
Flim you continue to amaze me with your success. Here’s to another great year!
01/04/2017 at 11:34 am #9540
Flim: We agree with Linda. Your sales amaze us also. We always keep you on the radar and just end up saying, boy wish we could do that! Great job and keep it up.
Here is to a great 2017.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by MDC Galleries & Fine Art.
01/05/2017 at 10:48 pm #9665
Very nice sales! As for cashback cards, I use Capital One Quicksilver the one that Samuel L Jackson promotes, it’s very simple 1.5% back on everything. Another option I hear is good is the cards (Citi Double Cash) that give you 1% now and then another 1% when you pay the card every month, essentially the highest percent cash back on everything card.
01/03/2017 at 2:11 am #9439soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
I’m doing my own numbers tracking by month now, but I’ve calculated what an average December week looked like for me so as to be consistent with others’ numbers (divided Dec sales by 31 then multiplied by 7).
# of items in store: 250
# of items sold: 11 (4% sell through rate)
Total revenue: $382
Gross profit: $310
Average sale price: $35
Average gross profit per item: $30
Highest price sold: $275 (handmade men’s shoes, paid $15) – highest sale ever!
Returns: 2, One was a NOS 1980s ski hat that started falling apart after two weeks of use. Next time I invest in any NOS items, will have to do a better quality check.
December was a fantastic month for me, and I’ve sure come a long way in the last 12 months. Last December I was thrilled to sell something for $10-15. I’m also feeling great b/c yesterday I removed 25 low-value non-selling items from my store, AND I decided that the lowest price I will ever have anything listed at is $9.99. Before that I was playing around with lowering prices on cheap things that weren’t selling, and it was just getting ridiculous – like going down to $4.99 & $3.99. What a waste of time!
Goal for 2017 is to maintain the same store size while increasing gross profit per item. Would love to get closer to $50. This means I will have to shop more, but buy less, which also means higher mileage costs since I’m in a rural area, so I’ll have to keep an eye on those.
Thank you J&R and the rest of the SL community for your help in getting to this point.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by sonia.
01/03/2017 at 8:30 am #9443SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
I was away between Christmas and New Years, so I am catching up. Here are my past two weeks of sales:
Week of Dec 18 – 24
* Total Items in Store: 550ish
* Items Sold: 9
* Cost of Items Sold: $41.50
* Total Sales: $192.10
* Highest Price Sold: $40 Fratantoni Italian Terra Cotta Ceramic Sun Tile Address Plaque
* Average Price Sold: $21.34
* Returns: 0
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: about 20ish
My higher cost of goods is due to a pair of boots in great condition that no longer fit my daughter. I chose a cost close to the sale price since we owned it.
Week of Dec 25 – 31
* Total Items in Store: 555
* Items Sold: 9
* Cost of Items Sold: $18.29
* Total Sales: $231.80
* Highest Price Sold: $50 Lenox Jewish Seder Plate
* Average Price Sold: $25.76
* Returns: 1 Insurance payment for casserole that broke in shipping (set of 2, only 1 broke)
* Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
* Number of items listed this week: 0 (out of town)
The Seder plate was something I bought in an online auction during the summer with 4 other Lenox Jewish items. My mother actually had the same Seder plate, so she wanted three of the other items because they coordinated with the plate. I gave them to my mom and dad as a Chanukah gift, so that was about $100 I didn’t have to spend – almost like making a sale!
Both weeks were good in that my average price was higher than normal, but the number of sales was lower. This is actually part of my strategy, but I am disappointed that I didn’t sell more items during the holiday season.
01/03/2017 at 11:02 am #9461HahnFam4Participant
Hey fellow scavengers,
Here’s my latest what sold video;
01/03/2017 at 11:13 am #9462Eve EverettParticipant
J & R
I understand your position but I don’t do the employee thing. Originally, we had an S Corp and paid employee taxes. What a serious pain in the a$$ on several levels. Waaaayyyyy easier to 1099 somebody as an independent contractor.one thing the IRS excels at is getting their employer taxes. It’s something you never want to accidentally under pay. We farmed that all out of course, but it just ends up being an added headache and expense.
BTW, I generally mention your forum on my infrequent YouTube videos. I am trying
PS. Your caller’s wife sounds like a controlling, self absorbed jerk. Maybe I got triggered here. Lol.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Eve Everett.
01/03/2017 at 11:30 am #9467
Yes, 1099 is easier. If you are hiring people who are contractors and like the 1099, then great.
In our case, we really like and appreciate the girl who’s helping us. We feel that if we offer her a job where we help pay her employment taxes, she’ll be less likely to leave us. If she thinks this is just a temp job, she may just split. We have big plans for her!
01/03/2017 at 11:39 pm #9513
Jay- You are going the right route, your helper would more than likely fail the IRS contractor vs employee test if you labeled her as an independent contractor. Then you would be hit up for back employment tax. Plus, as you pointed out she would feel better being treated as an employee rather than on her own as a contractor and trying to figure out her own taxes and filings.
01/04/2017 at 12:43 pm #9547
Yes I agree hiring as an employee and yes it is a pain. Our payroll at the large printing company was very high and we had three employees that did nothing more than handle payroll and do the payables.
But in my smaller companies we do 1099 BUT all of the vednors are sub-contractors in the true sense.
First you have to get a signed W-9 form on everyone you pay as a sub. It includes their name, business address, their SS No. [if sole proprietor] or Fed ID no. You must have one of these completed every single year you use them as a sub.
Then as a sub-contractor you are not allowed to mandate a starting time, work schedule or any rules or regulations on them. As an independent sub they call the shots on the hours, days and schedule that they work. They can “agree” to meet your schedule [such as for Cable guys, house or carpet cleaners, etc.] but they don’t have to stick to it and can actually come and go on the job as they please. IRS will also want you to have an invoice from them for the services rendered and a total amount. Your records need to show that as a “payable” and have proof of payment.
As far as the sub is concerned they need to have a business checking account, have a fed ID number or their SS number set up with their business and be able to bill-invoice you. In turn they will need to file their taxes as a business, but that is not your concern. You just need to have that paper trial for your records.
Caveate .. When you start hiring employees [even one] it wouldn’t hurt for you to begin to outline for an employee hand book. Because you will need to start setting the ground rules for “precedents” that if or when you have a second or third employee you can react, rule, act, and apply all situations evenly across the board for all concerned equally. We have had to go to an EEOC claim before and have an employee say we did something for another employee and not for them and that is discrimination. That one cost our company $7,000 in back pay.
So start decide right now about if they will be less than 32 hours = part time or over which is full time, will you pay for Holidays, which holiday’s. Hourly or salary, what if you are closed due to your travel, [when we closed our plant one time for two weeks due to illness we had a lawyer tell us that is called a “lock out” and all employees that were willing to work and could not work due to having the “doors locked” for whatever reason meant we still owed them pay. We got around it by pink slipping all of them and they collected unemployment. But that also made our share of unemployement taxes go up 7% for a period of time, what about their vacation time when you are not on vacation, vacation pay, sick time, reasons to fire them that is in writing, voting notices, written expectations [how many times I have heard, “that is not my job and it wasn’t in my job description so I am not going to do it”].
I have authored 6 “Employee Handbooks” in my times and have had to cover a lot of topics. Now with only one employee this is way ahead but it is still some things to think about and to help give you some help in at least putting together a short starter of a few pages to hand to your new employee. You don’t need a full blown handbook especially in your low key environment, but even one person can come up with a few issues and questions that you need to maybe have given some forethought to.
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
01/05/2017 at 10:39 pm #9663
Very informative post MDC about employees. My goal for this year is to take on at least one employee. I wonder what you do or used to do when you say your “plant”. Did you own a manufacturing plant of some kind? I think that would be tons of fun to start a small manufacturing plant. I used to be in engineering at a metal working plant.
It’s interesting how employees have so many rights in the work place. I used to work at a union plant and I always heard things like “Not my job description” from the operators. I always thought that behavior stemmed from the union. My naive thoughts were if there wasn’t a union you could tell the employee to do whatever you wanted them to do within reason. Your statements make me think it isn’t much like that.
01/03/2017 at 11:54 am #9469Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Total Items in Store: 646
Items Sold: 15
Cost of Items Sold: $52
Total Sales: $446
Highest Price Sold: $50 Kalso Sandals
Average Price Sold: $29.73
Average Profit: $26.26
FBA items sold: 2
Total FBA sales: $80
FBA COGS: $4
FBA Fees: $20
FBA Profit: $56
FBA Average profit: $28
Steady week without much effort put in. Our house is a total wreck right now and is taking up a lot of my time. We’re converting our dining room to our homeschool room, and the former school room (originally a den) will become my temporary dedicated ebay room. I think it will really help me focus to have a dedicated space, kill some death piles, and get a better feel for what I need space wise if I ever go full-time.
On the scavenger/DIY front, I rebuilt our dryer yesterday. I sounded like a tank was rolling through the house while it ran! I replaced all the moving wear parts and it ran like a new machine…until it quit heating. Doh! I think I may have smashed the dryer duct so hopefully I don’t have to replace the element also. Side not, if your dryer has some years on it and you’ve never done a thorough, disassembled cleaning – DO IT! I have no clue how that dryer still worked. The entire duct was filled with compacted lint. In the end I’ll have a like new dryer and I’ll be out less than $50 even if I have to get a new element.
01/03/2017 at 12:08 pm #9472LeeinTNParticipant
How do you ship Saline to Norway? You can’t put it on a plane can you?
01/03/2017 at 1:16 pm #9474
I may be mistaken, but I think non-flammable liquids can go via air. I know perfumes need to go ground if they have alcohol in them, but not if they are alcohol free. Saline is rather harmless as it is just salt water.
01/03/2017 at 1:34 pm #9476LeeinTNParticipant
I thought if it was liquid, air flight was a no-no. If it travels in an unpressurized area of the plane, the interior pressure will greatly exceed the exterior pressure and you will have a coke can in the freezer moment. IMO
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by LeeinTN.
01/03/2017 at 3:28 pm #9487
Yes, the pressure difference if the liquid wasn’t in a pressurized hold would cause the container to explode. I think most planes are fully pressurized or people wouldn’t be able to fly on a commercial flight with any liquids in their suitcase and you sure wouldn’t want to put any live animals in the cargo hold either. Since most cargo planes are the same models as passenger planes, I’m guessing that they are pressurized the same. I know for C-130’s (military cargo/transport plane) it is fully pressurized as you will see soldiers flying in the cargo hold with equipment. And if you think back to the movie “Cast Away” Tom Hanks’ character was also flying with the cargo which would have needed to be pressurized for him to do that.
And who knows, maybe they will send it on a cargo ship!
01/03/2017 at 1:33 pm #9475hartleymanagesParticipant
• Total Items in Store: 289
• Items Sold: 19
• Total Sales $219.07
• Highest Price $108.77 – lot of 96 hair metal cassettes from 80s/early 90s
I haven’t had a chance to list as I traveled for two weeks during the holidays but now I’m home and can start listing again. Last night I listed the $60 Bose Acoustic Wave CD player for $599.99 so we’ll see what happens there.
The tapes I sold last week were purchased from someone through the Offer Up app. I paid $20 and put them up for auction starting at $24.99 and a couple of hair metal fans bid them up to $108. Not bad.
Yesterday I purchased a TON of vintage audio gear for next to nothing from a couple downsizing. I got 4 receivers, 3 turntables, a CD player, headphones and two sets of beautiful Sansui speakers from the 70’s. The guy just kept throwing stuff into the pile. I’ll make my money back just selling one set of the speakers which I’ll probably do via Craigslist or through Facebook as shipping those things will be a BEAST. Again, I found this through Offer Up which, along with Let Go, has been a great sourcing tool for me for electronics and gear.
Love the podcast.
Happy new year!
01/03/2017 at 2:21 pm #9479Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Just catching up and listened to the podcast today on my way [back] to work… love hearing yinz mention me! Yes, here’s a site that shows all of the sample sales in NYC (there has to be one for other cities/areas): https://www.chicmi.com/new-york/sample-sales/
Dec 25-31 2016
• Total Items in Store: 719
• Items Sold: 11 (1 Amazon)
• International 2
• Total Sales $305.53
• Highest Price $89 1980 SW ESB Imperial Ice Base Playset
• Average Price Sold: $27.78
• Returns: 0
• Cost of Items Sold: $87
• Cost of items purchased this week $0
Slower week, but definitely picked up a bit later in the week after Christmas. Based on the items I sold, I bet we’re getting into the “self gifting” phase of the holiday that usually lasts until end of January.
On the ongoing topic about “spending more on higher dollar items”, I do this quite often in my estate sale finds in the NYC burbs. There is always a lot of high quality stuff, but because the competition is so fierce and the sellers are checking eBay, the prices can be higher especially on the opening day. It all about getting a balance in your stores… I have probably 50%-60% of my store bread & butter $1-$3 items listed for under $50 and then some higher dollar items that I’ve paid up for that I might only double my money on. For example, the Star Wars play set I sold this week for $89 I actually spent $35 on. I knew there was room on it, but not 10x-20x that I might get for a $2 item. Earlier in 2016, Ryanne might remember me selling those Cartier sunglasses for $950 – I absolutely did not pick those up for $3, I paid something like $280 for them – only 3x my money but that 3x = $600ish profit.
As another example, I recently from an estate sale bought 40 NFL hall of fame autographs. They were not authenticated, so I paid an average of $5 each (already $200 right there). I just packed them up to get authenticated at $20-$30 each (another $900 for that). I’m already up to $1100 invested, but once they come back with certification each one should be worth close to $100 putting the profits close to $3000.
01/03/2017 at 2:40 pm #9483Julie BParticipant
- Location: Georgia
My goal for this year is to be more focused throughout the day. I’m easily distracted and it is quite common for me to sit in my ebay room the entire day and only get 3 or 4 things listed! One major motivation for me to stay on task & list is I bought a new-ish car yesterday. It was desperately needed as my 16 year old Ford Escape with 198K miles had become very unreliable and left me stranded more than once. So now I have a car loan for the first time in over 15 years. Having that debt hanging over my head is very motivating. I want it paid off ASAP!
Happy 2017 everybody!
01/03/2017 at 6:51 pm #9493
I had an excellent weekend–9 packages went out today. I definitely think that collectibles and antiques sell better after Christmas.
01/03/2017 at 8:25 pm #9500BethGreenParticipant
- Location: Ohio
My numbers for the week of 12/25/16:
Total Items in Store: 49
Items Sold: 6 (All BIN)
Cost of Items Sold: $23.50
Total Sales: $232
Highest Price Sold: $65 – Reindeer candle holders
Average Price Sold: $38.66 + shiping
I expected the slowdown since I haven’t listed in the last few weeks. Happy to have sold 90% of what I listed this year, though. I strive for high sell through rates and in 2016 I really improved my average selling price while keeping COGS steady at 10-15%. I am about 3 weeks behind on listening to the Podcasts and was happy to send the kids to school this morning and get back to eBay. My goals for 2017 are to do double the listings I did last year, spend less time on FB and more time actually doing the things that translate to money.
Happy New Year everyone!
01/03/2017 at 9:15 pm #9504unorthodoxlifeParticipant
As someone who has built businesses with employees, I can tell you first hand that 1099’ing an “employee” can get you into hot water if they are not truly a contractor. A contractor provides services for multiple businesses and they also have their own business. In Jay and Ryannes case, they have an employee and therefore they are going about it correctly.
01/04/2017 at 12:07 am #9514
• Total Items in Store: 8120
• Items Sold: 109
• Total Sales $2581.74
• Highest Price $100 Textbook
• Average Price Sold: $23.67
• Returns: 12 (clothes, PC game)
• Cost of Items Sold: $115
• Cost of items purchased this week $368.60
Still going good even with slow days on Sunday and Monday. Top sellers were a math textbook for $100, Washing machine control board $75 and a tie between a huge tug boat model and a pair of Nike Lebron shoes $65.
Bought a lot of crap this week, 426lbs of kids books, a huge cart of mens boots, two gaylords(large cardboard containers) of toys and two large containers of electronics. Its all loaded in the van from last Thursday and I will hopefully get to it this week sometime.
I kinda laughed out loud when I heard the caller about his wife. My wife does not work with ebay or amazon and she didnt understand why I put in so many hours working in D.C. and then so much work on Amazon in my off hours. She became a lot more understanding when I showed her I could make more money selling on amazon than I was making after 14 years in the Air Force. That, and I got everything out of the house, it was taking over our entire bottom floor.
Goals for 2017: Develop another stream of income separate from online selling. Continue to foster a relationship/partnership with two small charities (I have already started some of the groundwork) Find an employee to replace my sole employee who moved out of state back in November. Possible start going back to school, just for the free check from the GI Bill. Maybe take volleyball classes or underwater basket weaving.
Just finished running our amazon numbers for December, it was a good month.
All numbers are net.
Large charity partner $21,451 45% split to us
Small library partner $981.49 50% split to us
Small library partner $1296 50% split to us
Small charity partner $1005 %50 split to us
Our own product (books,board games, dvds ect) $9505 100% us
Antique booth netted $650 for the month.
01/04/2017 at 7:31 am #9530
Are you still Active duty? If so, the college GI Bill money probably isn’t what you expect. The tuition portion is paid directly to the school so you never see it (at least mine was). The BAH is only for those who have separated from AD and who are taking 7 credits or more a semester. So you need to poor a good chunk of time into 3 or so classes even if they are just fluff classes. Besides BAH the only other check is the book stipend which is $1000 per year and a chunk of that will be gone if you end up having to buy books. I’m not trying to talk you out of getting some college under your belt, but if you are ONLY doing it for money, your time may be more profitable working on the online sales. Seems like it is doing well for you. The BAH check is nice, but again, you still have to do some work for it. Some of my most time intensive classes ended up being my “fluff” classes!
01/04/2017 at 9:10 pm #9578
Im retired, the BAH in the area is $2,262 a month. One of the highest rates, and enough to validate taking some classes. The GI bill and post 9-11 Bill are both solid bills however, they know most members will not use them. I finished two degrees while I was in the Air Force, when I went to pass the bill on to one of my children they wanted me to re-enlist for four more years. So ya I would only be taking it for the money, which I would then use to pay off the tuition my daughter is racking up at VCU.
01/05/2017 at 6:14 am #9585
Congrats on the retirement! Yeah, at $2,200/month with a daughter in school, I can see the benefit of taking some classes. I was able to finish 1 degree while in the Army and got a second degree using the post 9-11 GI Bill a few years ago. I still have about 9 months of benefit left if I want a masters, but I just can’t justify spending the time plus, I can’t do over half time to get the extra BAH. That sucks that they wanted you to reenlist just to pass on the benefits. Well, I hope you find some good basket weaving courses!
01/05/2017 at 12:14 pm #9616Brian Treasures from GrandmasParticipant
- Location: Hoboken, NJ
Gross Sales – $23,131.23
Avg. Price Sold – $48.60
Total COGS – $5,583.04
Avg. Price Paid – $11.75
Net Profit After COGS, Fees, etc – $14,133.47
Net ROI – 253.15%
Cost of Donations (thing purchased but unsold, donated for a tax write off) – $306.62
Biggest scores (highest ROI):
– (40) 1930s & 1940s National Geographic Maps – paid $1, sold for $200 for 16900% ROI after fees
– (5) Sealed Maxell MX-S 100 cassettes – paid $0.45, sold for $80 for 14800% ROI after fees
Biggest scores (highest price sold):
– Vintage Cartier Sunglasses – paid $280, sold for $950
– Dolce & Gabana Sex/Love Sweatshirt – paid $30, sold for $260
– Bakelite Poker Chips – paid $100, sold for $260
Worst buys (calling out my mistakes too):
– Jeff Koons Puppy Scultpure – paid $158, sold for $110 (-41% ROI after fees)
– Art Deco Saucer Set – paid $185, sold for $130 (-29% ROI after fees)
Summary & 2017 Goals:
I envy a lot of you out there that have been able to quit your day jobs or retire or support a family on your selling. I’m not there and likely won’t be for some time, partially because of storage limitations in our urban condo and partially because my wife & I do make a very decent living that will be infinitely difficult to match. This is a hobby/side hustle for me that supplements our incomes. My profits have paid for long European vacations (10 days in Italy & a long 4 day weekend in Ireland) and helped fund our master bathroom renovations (light at the end of the tunnel, will share a completed video once we’re 100% done).
In 2017, I’m going to continue to focus on limiting the junk/under $20 items I buy and focus more on higher quality/dollar items, even if the high % ROI is not there. I am completely comfortable buying something for $100 and selling for $200 or $250, buying something for $500 and selling for $1000. I’m focusing on finding things that interest me and have a history, which is half of the reason I love doing this. If I ever lose interest on the researching & learning, it’s likely I’ll stop the buying and selling.
Good luck to everyone out there and here’s to a wonderful 2017!!!
01/05/2017 at 12:17 pm #9617Paulo H LeocadioParticipant
Friends, I am on an all year low because of my health, Holidays fully dedicated to my kids (only 2 of the 5 live with me now, so I do not even go to restroom to spend most of the time with them when they are here).
So sales are slow, listing is depressing.
However I had sometime to put my head around my other 2 businesses and at the end I got good outlook to balance my life.
Anyway, don’t want to bother much with off topic business matters.
I have 3 main challenges:
(1) Space: my short term goal of 1000 items listed was useful to show me my major roadblocker related to storage space.
(2) Average ticket: it was a mistake to focus on fast listing going after low ticket items. This is a skill I have not yet mastered from Jay and Ryanne and my area seems to be slightly different than the Heartland in terms of finding $1-$5 items that can be sold for $30 or more. Also, I was dedicating my time a lot more on signature/designer items that I would pay $10-$20 but would sell for >$50. Combine topics 1 and 2 and you can see my equation got messed up.
3) Organization system: I need an inventory week to reorganize my storage, it would be a potential full week diving down into my storage
Also, I benefit a lot from having a formal LLC for my eBay business. I have a domain, email address, dedicated email to receive messages, other for customer matters. Also, I have separated and dedicated bank accounts and credit cards for income and revenue. This has been helping tremendoulsy to keep my operating costs super low and to understand clearly the business performance.
It is good to have clarity of what I need to do to take next step up.
01/05/2017 at 1:14 pm #9628
Congrats on the year. Those are great numbers for a side gig. I completely agree that if you don;t focus on what you love to find and sell, you’ll just end up quitting because it’s boring.
01/05/2017 at 2:53 pm #9646
Paulo, so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with your health. Hope you see some improvement soon.
01/07/2017 at 9:47 am #9714RobParticipant
- Location: Surprise, AZ
Brian, your 2016 is what I’d like 2017 to look like. Not sure if anyone’s familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk (online entrepreneur guru), but he’s started a 2017 Flip Challenge, with the goal of making $20,170 in 2017 on eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, etc. I’ve been eBaying since 1996, but very part time, as like you, I make a decent living at my 9-5 job. This is a side hustle for me, but would love to hit that $20,170 goal.
I too maintain a spreadsheet where I track the cost, sales price, and all fees for each item I sell, so I can monitor my revenue, profit, ROI, fees on a monthly basis. I think you’re spot on with prioritizing profit dollars over ROI %. My goal is always to make X times my initial investment, but I think that is more applicable when buying $1-$5 items. You want to make sure it’s worth your while. But when you graduate from that entry-level selling, and are buying $100 items, making 10X your initial investment isn’t necessary. I’m fine selling a $100 item for a $50 profit after fees. I’d rather make $50 in one transaction than 3 transactions that were 500% ROI’s.
With that in mind, my listing goals this year are going to be dollar based and not quantity based. I’m not impressed with having 5000 items in my store. To me that says I spent alot of time listing, and not much of it is selling very well. Instead, I’d like to have goals like listing $100/day, whether that be 5 items or 1 item.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.